Withnail & I interiors up for auction

Time to bid for a Victorian mahogany armchair, lead garden urn and library ladders from the cult film, says Annie Deakin

You liked the film? You're word perfect on its cracking script? Now is your chance to buy the furniture. This Sunday, paintings, furniture and furnishings from cult film Withnail & I (1986) are going under the hammer at the Christies South Kensington saleroom.

The auction, which is selling the contents from West House (the filming location of Uncle Monty's Chelsea townhouse), is expected to draw fans of the film. Of which there are plenty. The riotous black comedy, featuring the boozing and smoking misadventures of two unemployed actors played by Richard E Grant and Paul McCann, is one of Britain's biggest cult films.

Movie memorabilia has a market of its own making it nigh on impossible to value lots before auction. ‘Provenance plays a large part in valuing any object, and associations with a celebrity can add another element into the process,' explains Kate McKenzine, Specialist at Christie's. 'In this case, however, we did not factor in the Withnail and I link when valuing the lots.'

There are 227 lots that will be offered from West House, many of which never made it onto the big screen. The auction is expected to reach in the region of £200,000. In real life, West House itself is rather a gem among the interior designer circle. Designed in 1868 by Philip Webb, the Arts and Crafts architect responsible for William Morris’s Red House, the house has featured in Tatler, House & Garden and Vogue. The owner Professor Bernard Nevill, design director of Liberty during the Sixties and Seventies, spent over thirty years perfecting the interior. Dubbed the ‘forerunner of shabby chic style’, Nevill amassed the collection that is going under the hammer this Sunday.

Fine antiques in this weekend's auction include an early 19th century mahogany (tattered but comfortable-looking) armchair (lot 11, estimate £500- £800), a trio of late 19th century pine library ladders (lot 9, estimate £500-800) and a pair of 19th century alabaster figures (lot 58, £300-£500). Quirkier items in the collection, which may draw more interest, include a Victorian servant’s call box (lot 37, estimate £200-£400), a fine example of an Edwardian mahogany tennis racquet stand (lot 72, estimate £400-600) and an early Victorian mahogany wine cooler (lot 213, estimate £1,500-£2,500). The most expensive lot in the auction is a sporting painting by Maud Earl (1863-1943) depicting a pack of dogs called The Lost Scent (lot 223, estimate £8000-£12,000).

Will the Withnail & I connection boost the value of the lots? Judging by past Withnail & I auctions, these film star furnishings may reap substantial financial rewards this weekend. In 2009, Uncle Monty’s tumbledown Cumbrian farmhouse sold at auction for £265,000; considerably more than its modest £145,000 estimate. Nine years earlier, Chris Evans paid £8,000 for Withnail’s ragged Harris check coat at a West End charity auction in aid of Richard E Grant’s former school in Swaziland.

'I hope that fans of the film attend the sale or bid online, but whether that will have an effect on the prices achieved remains to be seen,' says McKenzine. 'They are lovely antique furnishings with or without the cult film history attached to them.'

Annie Deakin is interiors writer for sofa and interior design website mydeco.com.

Discover more property articles at Homes and Property
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
tech
News
The 67P/CG comet as seen from the Philae lander
scienceThe most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Arts and Entertainment
Ian McKellen as Gandalf in The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies
film
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Koenig, creator of popular podcast Serial, which is to be broadcast by the BBC
tvReview: The secret to the programme's success is that it allows its audience to play detective
News
Ruby Wax has previously written about her mental health problems in her book Sane New World
people
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives - OTE £60,000

£25000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about Custom...

Recruitment Genius: Care Workers Required - The London Borough of Bromley

£15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This homecare agency is based in Beckenh...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives - OTE £50,000

£25000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about Custom...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives - OTE £50,000

£25000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about Custom...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas